Missing Data

Are personality, identity, and social relations dictated by the environment, or is it an entity that is controlled solely on genes? Are those entities partly controlled by environment and partly controlled by genes? This profound question has continually peered its head into the conversation of many hot topics and discussions. This question has even found its way into the medical topic of cloning. As David Elliott claims, “…it is not clear that the cloned individual, like any other natural twin, needs to see her individuality as importantly connected to her genome, or even to phenotypic similarities with others” (p 158). Some individuals feel that cloning diminishes a sense of uniqueness in both the clone and the cloned person. Proponents against cloning also say that the lack of genetic variability creates a non-unique genome which will “impose limitations on an individual’s capacity for self-development, leading to a sense of disempowerment and personal inadequacy” (p.159) and that this lack of self-development affects human worth. In Elliott’s view, genetics is not the strongest factor that decides personality, identity and social relations. Thus creating clones from the genes of a donor does not restrict an individual, or clone from “feeling non-unique” (p.158). Therefore the idea that not having a “felt identity being psychologically damaging is not plausible” thus this is not a strong reason against cloning (p 158).

Though Elliott presented a few points that did have a sense of validity, there were a few points I want to argue against. Elliott argues that if biological similarities that persist between the cloned individual and the clone can reduce individuality and limit self-development, then the same could be said about twins and triplets. He also explains that environment is a better determinant of identity than genetics due to the data that demonstrates that separated twins show more divergent personalities. However, I believe that he omitted the myriads of data that demonstrate how twins that are separated tend to grow up with similar traits, likes, and dislikes. He cannot argue that genetics does not play a strong role in identity and thus he cannot argue that clones, who have similar genes, will develop different personalities and unique characters based on environment. Mikayla Stern-Ellis and Emily Nappi, two young girls from northern and southern California were shocked to find that they were half sisters, they both shared a sperm donor from Colombia. Having lived in different environments from birth up until their undergraduate career in college, it is remarkable to see how strong a role genetics plays in behavior. These sisters grew up in different parts of California, yet have very similar features such as a cleft chin, thick, curly hair, same skin tone, and same smile. Both also have similar interests in the sciences. And even more, they both ended up at Tulane University thousands of miles away from California. It is easy to say that their genes played a very strong role in their identity and personality. (Watch Video Here)

Elliott also omitted the fact that clones will more than likely be in the same environment as the cloned person and therefore their environment will similarly mold their personalities. Thus, there is a factor of developing very similar personalities since they are in the same environment and have identical genes. Elliott therefore cannot argue that uniqueness will not be threatened.

The argument that cloning will inhibit uniqueness is actually a very strong argument against cloning in that the large similarities between the cloned person and the clone will limit self-development and may feel of less worth. In my opinion, Elliott is missing pieces of data in his counter-argument to support cloning.

Elliott, David. “Uniqueness, individuality, and human cloning.” In Arguing about Bioethics, edited by Stephen Holland, 149-62. New York: Routledge, 2012.


62 thoughts on “Missing Data

  1. I think your post brings up an intriguing discussion in regards to nature vs. nurture. The notion that genetic factors influence personality has long been understood through the domestication of animals. As Darwin outlines in On the Origin of Species, “So in regard to mental qualities, their transmission is manifest in our dogs, horses, and other domestic animals. Besides special tastes and habits, general intelligence, courage, bad and good tempers, etc., are certainly transmitted.” However, science is now taking a different approach towards understanding genes, our personality and the environment. New studies are looking into the potential for personality to be non-genetically transmitted as more data supports the idea that genes are not deterministic. One study involving zebra finches, found that some personality traits were inherited through observed behavior, not genetics (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2335681/Enviroment-stronger-genes-determining-personality.html). As science advances our understanding of personality and the complex factors that influence it, I am interested to see how this will play into debates about uniqueness and cloning.

  2. I enjoyed the fact that you tackled the topic of how the environment affects individual growth and development as I am very interested in how it relates to cloning. I’m not certain, however, if half sisters is necessarily the best way to support your argument for uniqueness as a reason against cloning. To me, this case is an exception to the norm and doesn’t rightfully represent how we are shaped by our environment. The uniqueness argument is a challenging one as we can only speculate how a reproductive clone would feel. In my opinion an individual created via cloning might not be too worried about the uniqueness of their genome when they would not have been created in the first place.

  3. I seldom leave comments, but I browsed a few of the remarks on Missing
    Data | Ethical Issues in Health Care. I actually do have 2 questions
    for you if it’s okay. Is it only me or do some of these remarks appear like they are written by brain dead folks?
    😛 And, if you are posting on other online sites, I would
    like to keep up with you. Would you list of every one of your public sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed,
    or linkedin profile?

    Review my weblog :: best Anti Aging makeup

  4. I’m now not sure the place you’re gettijng our information,
    howeer good topic. I needs to send a while finding ouut much more or working out more.
    Thanks for excellent inormation I used to be on the lookoht for this info for my mission.

  5. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many
    months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  6. Even celebrity names can be monetized through Amazon as you can include your Amazon affiliate links to their work whether that be a movie or television show on DVD, or some of their records.
    Have you typed into Google “how can I earn online and come” across a few through products that seem too
    good to be true. Information on how to start a blog and make money should be useful.

  7. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed
    to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this blog
    with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  8. Hello! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog
    looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.

    If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!

    Feel free to surf to my homepage – women Fitness plan

  9. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you ought
    to publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people don’t discuss
    these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

  10. Great article Kimberly.

    Did David Elliot conveniently omit particular data to help strengthen his position. This move is all too common in order to highlight a perspective against another ‘less favorable one’.

    I enjoyed your take!

  11. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.

    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a number
    of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.

    I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I
    can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  12. wonderful issues altogether, you just won a brand new reader.
    What could you suggest in regards to your publish that you simply made some
    days ago? Any certain?

  13. I am in fact happy to glance at this weblog posts which consists
    of tons of useful facts, thanks for providing such statistics.

  14. It is truly a great and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it,
    you happen to be a great author. I will be sure to
    bookmark your blog and definitely will come back in the future.
    I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great job, have
    a nice weekend!

  16. Have you ever thought about writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would value your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

  17. I used to be recommended this blog by way of my cousin. I’m not sure whether this submit is written by way of him as nobody else recognise such precise about my difficulty.
    You are incredible! Thank you!

  18. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂
    I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  19. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other
    sites? I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to
    have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

  20. This piece of writing presents clear idea in support of the new visitors of blogging, that really how
    to do running a blog.

  21. Hey There. I found your weblog using msn. This is a really well
    written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra
    of your helpful info. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly return.

  22. Hello There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. This is an extremely smartly written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back
    to learn extra of your useful info. Thank you for the post.
    I’ll certainly comeback.

  23. First of all I would like to say wonderful blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if
    you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks!

  24. I would like to thank you for this wonderful blog post. As a person dealing with commercial real estate loans data I find it very interesting.

  25. Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss
    and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my viewers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

  26. This is the right web site for anyone who wishes to understand this topic.
    You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for ages.
    Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  27. Hey I am so glad I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am
    here now and would just like to say many thanks for
    a incredible post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have saved
    it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more,
    Please do keep up the superb b.

  28. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend
    your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit familiar
    of this your broadcast offered shiny clear concept

  29. Simply wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your put up is just nice and that i can suppose
    you are knowledgeable in this subject. Fine together with your permission let me to grab your feed to stay up to date with impending post.
    Thank you a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

Comments are closed.